The French president was welcomed by whistles and grunts of disapproval on Thursday, when arriving in the city of Bayonne.
A mainly young crowd of opponents screamed “Sarko, president of the wealthy” and “Sarko, beat it ” after he stepped out of the car. The insults drowned out the timid cheers of “Sarkozy president” from his few supporters in attendance.
On a nearby terrace, a banner read “Sarkozy, working seven days a week for 77 years.”
When asked about the episode, the French president congratulated himself on the “warm welcome of the silent majority”, before chastising “a minority of gangsters allied with Basque separatists, of which some like ETA, have blood on their hands.”
Meanwhile, the socialist candidate recommended Sarkozy should stay away from “an excessive campaign”.
“I do not participate to this verbal escalation, to this excess. French people are expecting a dignified campaign”
The events of Thursday concluded a week of disastrous appearances on the part of the president’s closest allies.
On 24 February, Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, Sarkozy’s spokesperson and former minister for transportation, said the price of a Paris metro ticket was more than four euros. It stands at 1,90 euros.
Claude Guéant, the Interior Minister, called the Front National (the far right party) of “national and socialist”, a reference to the Nazi movement.
The president himself had his fair share of blunders. He criticised Mr Hollande’s companion, a journalist, to have maintained her televised show despite her engagement with the candidate.
On Tuesday, he wrongly said that journalist Edith Bouvier who was injured at Homs, had safely arrived in Lebanon.